Category Archives: Harvest

Bee Branch Farm Featured in WNC Magazine

Yes, we have honey!  We are excited that WNC magazine chose to feature Bee Branch Farm’s Sandy Mush honey in their July/August 2017 issue.

We love our honey customers, and we are looking forward to meeting new honey customers.  Currently, we are not able to mail our honey.  However, you may arrange a time to visit the farm, or we also deliver to a North Asheville location on a regular basis.

Our first spring honey harvest sold out in two days!  But we are currently harvesting summer honey and will continue through sourwood bloom.

If you do not receive Bee Branch Farm emails about honey, please get on our honey list.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

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First Honey Harvest of the Season

Glenn harvested the first honey of the season Saturday, May 20th.  We have it bottled and ready to go!  Get in touch if you want our wonderful Sandy Mush honey; our bees are healthy and happy in our beautiful Sandy Mush valley where they have plenty of forage to enjoy.

683-1683 or beebranchfarm@gmail.com

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The Bounty

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The blooming, buzzing adventure continues…

We are having a busy but good year on Bee Branch Farm, hence the lack of communication.  We doubled our veggie deliveries from last year, and I am taking on additional farm connected activities.  I am helping out with Cycle to Farm as it grows; there were four events this year with the final Cycle to Farm being in Sandy Mush October 11th.  I am also serving on the Farmer Support Cluster of the Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council, and I am excited to soon have the opportunity to start serving on the Buncombe County Agricultural Advisory Board for Farmland Preservation.  As you all know, I am passionate about this.

As for the veggies this season, this is what makes all the long hours and hard work worth it.  A few comments our farm families have shared with us.  First of all, it does my heart good when I hear how much the children are enjoying their veggies.  We have children fighting over who gets the last bite of chard, asking for those french radishes, and loving  purple potato salad.  In the words of Finney,  “It is good to know your farmer.”   Our families have also shared stories of improved health and vigor, better gum health as noted by dentist and healthier skin.  Yeah for eating your veggies!

We are especially happy that we have a bountiful crop of tomatoes that haven’t succumbed  to late blight as they did last year, and we were able to stave off the rascally racoons who love sweet corn as much as we do, at least for the first couple of weeks and then while we were away for the weekend they figured out how to circumvent the electric fence.  I do give them credit for their tenaciousness.  It was also fun growing artichoke from seed for the first time.  I have let a few go to bloom, and they are stunning.  I enjoy seeing which bees are attracted to which blooms.  We have continued to incorporate beneficial zones in our garden to attract and nurture these insects, and we feel that it is one of the reasons that we have had good success without spraying even organically.

Life on the farm is a blooming, buzzing adventure…..

Soup, Salads and Sautés

I love being a part of providing healthy and scrumptious food to people, and it makes all the hard work worth it when our farm families share their enjoyment of the freshly harvested veggies.   Here are a few of the various ways they have been enjoying the veggies.

*Hardy recommends these two ways to enjoy greens; both recipes from Epicurious.com:

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Onions
3 pound green Swiss chard (about 2 large bunches)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.
Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add chard stems and ribs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding next batch, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.

Cooks’ notes:· Chard can be washed, dried, and cut 2 days ahead and chilled in sealed bags lined with dampened paper towels.

· Chard can be cooked 4 hours ahead and reheated over low heat on stove or in a microwave oven.
Gourmet
November 2007
by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez

Spinach Salad with Grilled Red Onion and Tahini Vinaigrette (Hardy loves this Tahini Vinaigrette and substituted Kale for the spinach.)


Vinaigrette  
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seedpaste)
2 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 small garlic clove, minced
3/4 vegetable oil

Salad
2 large red onions

12 cups (packed) baby spinach,trimmed
10 large radicchio leaves

For Vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients except oil in blender and blend well. Gradually blend in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For Salad: Cut onions lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges, leaving root ends intact. Place onions in 15×10-inch glass baking dish. Pour 1 cup vinaigrette over onions, coating evenly. Let marinate 3 hours. Chill remaining dressing. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill onions.)
Prepare barbecue (medium-high-heat) or preheat broiler. Sprinkle onions with salt and pepper. Grill or broil onions until golden. turning occasionally, about 12 minutes. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
Place spinach in large bowl. Toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Fill radicchio leaves with spinach. Top with grilled onions. Pass remaining dressing separately.

Bon Appétit
June 1996

*Sandy recommends a couple of ways to enjoy a variety of the veggies in these two meals:

Green Soup:  http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/basic_green_soup.html

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3 cups water, divided
  • 1/4 cup arborio rice
  • 1 bunch green chard (about 1 pound)
  • 14 cups gently packed spinach (about 12 ounces), any tough stems trimmed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade
  • Big pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste

PREPARATION

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 3 cups water and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a soup pot or Dutch oven; add rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Trim the white ribs out of the chard (save for another use, such as to add to a stir-fry or other soup). Coarsely chop the chard greens and spinach.
  3. When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the chard greens. Return to a simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes. When the onions are caramelized, stir a little of the simmering liquid into them; add them to the rice along with the spinach, broth and cayenne. Return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes more.
  4. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth or in a regular blender in batches (return it to the pot). Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil.

TIPS & NOTES

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4 (omitting the lemon), cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Season with lemon just before serving.

Also, I found another twist on the recipe that looks good:

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/10/06/take-a-chance-on-green-soup-that-is/

*Sandy turned our harvest of beans, potatoes, eggs and romaine plus a few things from the store into a Salad Nicoise.  This looks so yummy I am going to make it for dinner!

Salad Niçoise (pronounced nee-suaz) is essentially a French composed salad, much like our American Cobb salad, but with tuna, green beans, and potatoes, instead of chicken, bacon, and avocado. Salad Niçoise hails from Nice, on the Mediterranean Sea, though like so many foods we enjoy here of French origin, has changed a bit to adapt to our tastes. According to the Wikipedia the Niçoise salads are always made with raw vegetables and served with anchovies. Nicoise salads that are served in America are typically served on a bed of lettuce and include cooked green beans and potatoes. According to our Paris insider, the Niçoise salads there are all made with canned tuna. Depending on the establishment here, I’ve had them either with canned or with freshly grilled tuna. Like its American Cobb salad cousin, the Salad Nicoise takes some time to prepare, given all of the ingredients. This is one dish where setting up your mise en place (all ingredients chopped and ready to go) will help the salad come together smoothly.

Recipe from Simply Recipes:

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/nicoise_salad/

From Epicurious.com:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Salade-Ni-oise-15533

Enjoy the summer bounty,

Terri

p.s.  Tillie, our farm dog,  LOVES veggies.  Her favorite snack is a fresh green bean.  When she hears a green bean snap, she comes running.  Also, she loves the vegetable broth that I make from all the extra greens, stems, and cuttings poured over her dog food.  She even enjoyed the carrot soup.  We found the perfect dog for Bee Branch Farm.  We are lucky!

Leaves are falling and the fire is crackling…

I love to work outside on a crisp fall day.  My brother, Brian, helped me haul mulch, which the chickens did a fabulous job of spreading, stack wood, compost leaves and mow the yard.  The onions are weeded and the garlic is planted and mulched. We are still harvesting yummy sweet red peppers, which I used to make a quiche for dinner with fresh eggs from the hens.  The honey bees are still enjoying the nasturtium in the garden and the wild asters and goldenrod.  Tillie, Glenn and I are curled up by the fire enjoying this lovely fall evening.  Sweet Dreams…

Fresh eggs

The sun is bright in the evening sky,

The rain is steady and rhythmic,

and the fresh eggs are warm in the palms of my hands.

Honey has sold out!

Our honey has sold out!  Thanks to all our farm families and honey patrons for supporting us.  We can now reinvest the proceeds in honey harvest tools that are much needed.

We hope you all enjoy our first honey harvest.

With gratitude,

Terri and Glenn

Honey Harvest

Our first official honey harvest!  We are thrilled to have enough our first year to bottle a limited sampling of our honey.  Since Glenn put the supers on the last of June and took them off early August, it seems that the bees mostly collected Sourwood honey.  Whatever you want to call it…it is pure yumminess!  We have a limited production of this honey so our farm families will get first choice, and then we will sell to others.  If you want to get on our honey alert email list, please email us at beebranchfarm@gmail.com and ask to be notified of future honey availability.

Fresh from the garden supper

Sweet corn, brandywine tomato, sweet and sour cooked cabbage, fried okra and Glenn’s sweet cornbread.  This, finished off with a glass of sweet tea is summer yumminess.